Hopkins, Gerard Manley (1918) "Poems"
Gerard Manley Hopkins
now first published
Edited with notes
QVI FILA EIVS CARISSIMI
POETAE DEBITAM INGENIO LAVDEM EXPECTANTIS
SERVM TAMEN MONVMENTVM ESSET
ANNVM AETATIS XCVIII AGENTI
VETERIS AMICITIAE PIGNVS
D D D
Transcriber's notes: The poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins contain unconventional English, accents and horizontal lines. Facsimile images of the poems as originally published are freely available online from the Internet Archive. Please use these images to check for any errors or inadequacies in this electronic text.
The editor's endnotes refer to the page numbers of the Author's Preface and to the first page of the Early Poems. I have therefore inserted these page numbers in round brackets: (1), (2), etc. up to (7). For pages 1 to 7 the line numbers in this electronic version are the same as those referred to in the editor's endnotes.
After page 7 this text mainly follows the editor's endnotes which, apart from the occasional page reference, refer to the poems by their numbers. For example:
5. PENMAEN POOL.
In poem 26 I have retained the larger than normal spacing between the first and second words of the eighth line.
In poem 36 I have rendered the first word of line 28 as "One." In the original the accent falls on the second letter but I did not have a text character to record this accurately.
The editor's notes contain one word and, later, one phrase from the ancient Greek; these are retained but the Greek letters have been Englished.
Author's Preface Early Poems Poems 1876-1889 Unfinished Poems & Fragments
Preface to Notes Notes
OUR generation already is overpast, And thy lov'd legacy, Gerard, hath lain Coy in my home; as once thy heart was fain Of shelter, when God's terror held thee fast In life's wild wood at Beauty and Sorrow aghast; Thy sainted sense tramme'd in ghostly pain, Thy rare ill-broker'd talent in disdain: Yet love of Christ will win man's love at last.
Hell wars without; but, dear, the while my hands Gather'd thy book, I heard, this wintry day, Thy spirit thank me, in his young delight Stepping again upon the yellow sands. Go forth: amidst our chaffinch flock display Thy plumage of far wonder and heavenward flight!
Chilswell, Jan. 1918.
(1) AUTHOR'S PREFACE
THE poems in this book* (*That is, the MS. described in Editor's preface as B. This preface does not apply to the early poems.) are written some in Running Rhythm, the common rhythm in English use, some in Sprung Rhythm, and some in a mixture of the two. And those in the common rhythm are some counterpointed, some not.
Common English rhythm, called Running Rhythm above, is measured by feet of either two or three syllables and (putting aside the imperfect feet at the beginning and end of lines and also some unusual measures, in which feet seem to be paired together and double or composite feet to arise) never more or less.
Every foot has one principal stress or accent, and this or the syllable it falls on may be called the Stress of the foot and the other part, the one or two unaccented syllables, the Slack. Feet (and the rhythms made out of them) in which the stress comes first are called Falling Feet and Falling Rhythms, feet and rhythm in which the slack comes first are called Rising Feet and Rhythms, and if the stress is between two slacks there will be Rocking Feet and Rhythms. These distinctions are real and true to nature; but for purposes of scanning it is a great convenience to follow the (2) example of music and take the stress always first, as the accent or the chief accent always comes first in a musical bar. If this is done there will be in common English verse only two possible feet—the so-called accentual Trochee and Dactyl, and correspondingly only two possible uniform rhythms, the so-called Trochaic and Dactylic. But they may be mixed and then what the Greeks called a Logaoedic Rhythm arises. These are the facts and according to these the scanning of ordinary regularly-written English verse is very simple indeed and to bring in other principles is here unnecessary.
But because verse written strictly in these feet and by these principles will become same and tame the poets have brought in licences and departures from rule to give variety, and especially when the natural rhythm is rising, as in the common ten-syllable or five-foot verse, rhymed or blank. These irregularities are chiefly Reversed Feet and Reversed or Counterpoint Rhythm, which two things are two steps or degrees of licence in the same kind. By a reversed foot I mean the putting the stress where, to judge by the rest of the measure, the slack should be and the slack where the stress, and this is done freely at the beginning of a line and, in the course of a line, after a pause; only scarcely ever in the second foot or place and never in the last, unless when the poet designs some extraordinary effect; for these places are characteristic and sensitive and cannot well be touched. But the reversal of the first foot and of some middle (3) foot after a strong pause is a thing so natural that our poets have generally done it, from Chaucer down, without remark and it commonly passes unnoticed and cannot be said to amount to a formal change of rhythm, but rather is that irregularity which all natural growth and motion shews. If however the reversal is repeated in two feet running, especially so as to include the sensitive second foot, it must be due either to great want of ear or else is a calculated effect, the super- inducing or mounting of a new rhythm upon the old; and since the new or mounted rhythm is actually heard and at the same time the mind naturally supplies the natural or standard foregoing rhythm, for we do not forget what the rhythm is that by rights we should be hearing, two rhythms are in some manner running at once and we have something answerable to counter- point in music, which is two or more strains of tune going on together, and this is Counterpoint Rhythm. Of this kind of verse Milton is the great master and the choruses of Samson Agonistes are written throughout in it—but with the disadvantage that he does not let the reader clearly know what the ground-rhythm is meant to be and so they have struck most readers as merely irregular. And in fact if you counterpoint throughout, since one only of the counter rhythms is actually heard, the other is really destroyed or cannot come to exist, and what is written is one rhythm only and probably Sprung Rhythm, of which I now speak.
Sprung Rhythm, as used in this book, is measured by feet of from one to four syllables, regularly, and for (4) particular effects any number of weak or slack syllables may be used. It has one stress, which falls on the only syllable, if there is only one, or, if there are more, then scanning as above, on the first, and so gives rise to four sorts of feet, a monosyllable and the so-called accentual Trochee, Dactyl, and the First Paeon. And there will be four corresponding natural rhythms; but nominally the feet are mixed and any one may follow any other. And hence Sprung Rhythm differs from Running Rhythm in having or being only one nominal rhythm, a mixed or 'logaoedic' one, instead of three, but on the other hand in having twice the flexibility of foot, so that any two stresses may either follow one another running or be divided by one, two, or three slack syllables. But strict Sprung Rhythm cannot be counterpointed. In Sprung Rhythm, as in logaoedic rhythm generally, the feet are assumed to be equally long or strong and their seeming inequality is made up by pause or stressing.
Remark also that it is natural in Sprung Rhythm for the lines to be rove over, that is for the scanning of each line immediately to take up that of the one before, so that if the first has one or more syllables at its end the other must have so many the less at its beginning; and in fact the scanning runs on without break from the beginning, say, of a stanza to the end and all the stanza is one long strain, though written in lines asunder.
Two licences are natural to Sprung Rhythm. The one is rests, as in music; but of this an example is scarcely to be found in this book, unless in the Echos, (5) second line. The other is hangers or outrides that is one, two, or three slack syllables added to a foot and not counting in the nominal scanning. They are so called because they seem to hang below the line or ride forward or backward from it in another dimension than the line itself, according to a principle needless to explain here. These outriding half feet or hangers are marked by a loop underneath them, and plenty of them will be found.
The other marks are easily understood, namely accents, where the reader might be in doubt which syllable should have the stress; slurs, that is loops over syllables, to tie them together into the time of one; little loops at the end of a line to shew that the rhyme goes on to the first letter of the next line; what in music are called pauses, to shew that the syllable should be dwelt on; and twirls, to mark reversed or counterpointed rhythm.
Note on the nature and history of Sprung Rhythm— Sprung Rhythm is the most natural of things. For (1) it is the rhythm of common speech and of written prose, when rhythm is perceived in them. (2) It is the rhythm of all but the most monotonously regular music, so that in the words of choruses and refrains and in songs written closely to music it arises. (3) It is found in nursery rhymes, weather saws, and so on; because, however these may have been once made in running rhythm, the terminations having dropped off by the change of language, the stresses come together and so the rhythm is sprung. (4) It arises in common (6) verse when reversed or counterpointed, for the same reason.
But nevertheless in spite of all this and though Greek and Latin lyric verse, which is well known, and the old English verse seen in Pierce Ploughman are in sprung rhythm, it has in fact ceased to be used since the Elizabethan age, Greene being the last writer who can be said to have recognised it. For perhaps there was not, down to our days, a single, even short, poem in English in which sprung rhythm is employed not for single effects or in fixed places but as the governing principle of the scansion. I say this because the contrary has been asserted: if it is otherwise the poem should be cited.
Some of the sonnets in this book* (*See previous note.) are in five-foot, some in six-foot or Alexandrine lines.
Nos. 13 and 22 are Curtal-Sonnets, that is they are constructed in proportions resembling those of the sonnet proper, namely 6 + 4 instead of 8 + 6, with however a halfline tailpiece (so that the equation is rather 12/8 + 9/2 = 21/2 + 10 1/2).
(7) EARLY POEMS
1 For a Picture of St. Dorothea
I BEAR a basket lined with grass; I am so light, I am so fair, That men must wonder as I pass And at the basket that I bear, Where in a newly-drawn green litter Sweet flowers I carry,—sweets for bitter.
Lilies I shew you, lilies none, None in Caesar's gardens blow,— And a quince in hand,—not one Is set upon your boughs below; Not set, because their buds not spring; Spring not, 'cause world is wintering.
But these were found in the East and South Where Winter is the clime forgot.— The dewdrop on the larkspur's mouth O should it then be quenched not? In starry water-meads they drew These drops: which be they? stars or dew?
Had she a quince in hand? Yet gaze: Rather it is the sizing moon. Lo, linked heavens with milky ways! That was her larkspur row.—So soon? Sphered so fast, sweet soul?—We see Nor fruit, nor flowers, nor Dorothy.
2 Heaven—Haven A nun takes the veil
I HAVE desired to go Where springs not fail, To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail And a few lilies blow.
And I have asked to be Where no storms come, Where the green swell is in the havens dumb, And out of the swing of the sea.
3 The Habit of Perfection
ELECTED Silence, sing to me And beat upon my whorled ear, Pipe me to pastures still and be The music that I care to hear.
Shape nothing, lips; be lovely-dumb: It is the shut, the curfew sent From there where all surrenders come Which only makes you eloquent.
Be shelled, eyes, with double dark And find the uncreated light: This ruck and reel which you remark Coils, keeps, and teases simple sight.
Palate, the hutch of tasty lust, Desire not to be rinsed with wine: The can must be so sweet, the crust So fresh that come in fasts divine!
Nostrils, your careless breath that spend Upon the stir and keep of pride, What relish shall the censers send Along the sanctuary side!
O feel-of-primrose hands, O feet That want the yield of plushy sward, But you shall walk the golden street And you unhouse and house the Lord.
And, Poverty, be thou the bride And now the marriage feast begun, And lily-coloured clothes provide Your spouse not laboured-at nor spun.
4 THE WRECK OF THE DEUTSCHLAND
To the happy memory of five Franciscan Nuns exiles by the Falk Laws drowned between midnight and morning of Dec. 7th. 1875
PART THE FIRST
1 Thou mastering me God! giver of breath and bread; World's strand, sway of the sea; Lord of living and dead; Thou hast bound bones and veins in me, fastened me flesh, And after it almost unmade, what with dread, Thy doing: and dost thou touch me afresh? Over again I feel thy finger and find thee.
2 I did say yes O at lightning and lashed rod; Thou heardst me truer than tongue confess Thy terror, O Christ, O God; Thou knowest the walls, altar and hour and night: The swoon of a heart that the sweep and the hurl of thee trod Hard down with a horror of height: And the midriff astrain with leaning of, laced with fire of stress.
3 The frown of his face Before me, the hurtle of hell Behind, where, where was a, where was a place? I whirled out wings that spell And fled with a fling of the heart to the heart of the Host. My heart, but you were dovewinged, I can tell, Carrier-witted, I am bold to boast, To flash from the flame to the flame then, tower from the grace to the grace.
4 I am soft sift In an hourglass—at the wall Fast, but mined with a motion, a drift, And it crowds and it combs to the fall; I steady as a water in a well, to a poise, to a pane, But roped with, always, all the way down from the tall Fells or flanks of the voel, a vein Of the gospel proffer, a pressure, a principle, Christ's gift.
5 I kiss my hand To the stars, lovely-asunder Starlight, wafting him out of it; and Glow, glory in thunder; Kiss my hand to the dappled-with-damson west: Since, tho' he is under the world's splendour and wonder, His mystery must be instressed, stressed; For I greet him the days I meet him, and bless when I understand.
6 Not out of his bliss Springs the stress felt Nor first from heaven (and few know this) Swings the stroke dealt— Stroke and a stress that stars and storms deliver, That guilt is hushed by, hearts are flushed by and melt— But it rides time like riding a river (And here the faithful waver, the faithless fable and miss),
7 It dates from day Of his going in Galilee; Warm-laid grave of a womb-life grey; Manger, maiden's knee; The dense and the driven Passion, and frightful sweat; Thence the discharge of it, there its swelling to be, Though felt before, though in high flood yet— What none would have known of it, only the heart, being hard at bay,
8 Is out with it! Oh, We lash with the best or worst Word last! How a lush-kept plush-capped sloe Will, mouthed to flesh-burst, Gush!—flush the man, the being with it, sour or sweet, Brim, in a flash, full!—Hither then, last or first, To hero of Calvary, Christ,'s feet— Never ask if meaning it, wanting it, warned of it—men go.
9 Be adored among men, God, three-numbered form; Wring thy rebel, dogged in den, Man's malice, with wrecking and storm. Beyond saying sweet, past telling of tongue, Thou art lightning and love, I found it, a winter and warm; Father and fondler of heart thou hast wrung: Hast thy dark descending and most art merciful then.
10 With an anvil-ding And with fire in him forge thy will Or rather, rather then, stealing as Spring Through him, melt him but master him still: Whether at once, as once at a crash Paul, Or as Austin, a lingering-out sweet skill, Make mercy in all of us, out of us all Mastery, but be adored, but be adored King.
PART THE SECOND
11 'Some find me a sword; some The flange and the rail; flame, Fang, or flood' goes Death on drum, And storms bugle his fame. But we dream we are rooted in earth—Dust! Flesh falls within sight of us, we, though our flower the same, Wave with the meadow, forget that there must The sour scythe cringe, and the blear share come.
12 On Saturday sailed from Bremen, American-outward-bound, Take settler and seamen, tell men with women, Two hundred souls in the round— O Father, not under thy feathers nor ever as guessing The goal was a shoal, of a fourth the doom to be drowned; Yet did the dark side of the bay of thy blessing Not vault them, the million of rounds of thy mercy not reeve even them in?
13 Into the snows she sweeps, Hurling the haven behind, The Deutschland, on Sunday; and so the sky keeps, For the infinite air is unkind, And the sea flint-flake, black-backed in the regular blow, Sitting Eastnortheast, in cursed quarter, the wind; Wiry and white-fiery and whirlwind-swivelled snow Spins to the widow-making unchilding unfathering deeps.
14 She drove in the dark to leeward, She struck—not a reef or a rock But the combs of a smother of sand: night drew her Dead to the Kentish Knock; And she beat the bank down with her bows and the ride of her keel: The breakers rolled on her beam with ruinous shock; And canvas and compass, the whorl and the wheel Idle for ever to waft her or wind her with, these she endured.
15 Hope had grown grey hairs, Hope had mourning on, Trenched with tears, carved with cares, Hope was twelve hours gone; And frightful a nightfall folded rueful a day Nor rescue, only rocket and lightship, shone, And lives at last were washing away: To the shrouds they took,—they shook in the hurling and horrible airs.
16 One stirred from the rigging to save The wild woman-kind below, With a rope's end round the man, handy and brave— He was pitched to his death at a blow, For all his dreadnought breast and braids of thew: They could tell him for hours, dandled the to and fro Through the cobbled foam-fleece, what could he do With the burl of the fountains of air, buck and the flood of the wave?
17 They fought with God's cold— And they could not and fell to the deck (Crushed them) or water (and drowned them) or rolled With the sea-romp over the wreck. Night roared, with the heart-break hearing a heart-broke rabble, The woman's wailing, the crying of child without check— Till a lioness arose breasting the babble, A prophetess towered in the tumult, a virginal tongue told.
18 Ah, touched in your bower of bone Are you! turned for an exquisite smart, Have you! make words break from me here all alone, Do you!—mother of being in me, heart. O unteachably after evil, but uttering truth, Why, tears! is it? tears; such a melting, a madrigal start! Never-eldering revel and river of youth, What can it be, this glee? the good you have there of your own?
19 Sister, a sister calling A master, her master and mine!— And the inboard seas run swirling and bawling; The rash smart sloggering brine Blinds her; but she that weather sees one thing, one; Has one fetch in her: she rears herself to divine Ears, and the call of the tall nun To the men in the tops and the tackle rode over the storm's brawling.
20 She was first of a five and came Of a coifed sisterhood. (O Deutschland, double a desperate name! O world wide of its good! But Gertrude, lily, and Luther, are two of a town, Christ's lily and beast of the waste wood: From life's dawn it is drawn down, Abel is Cain's brother and breasts they have sucked the same.)
21 Loathed for a love men knew in them, Banned by the land of their birth, Rhine refused them. Thames would ruin them; Surf, snow, river and earth Gnashed: but thou art above, thou Orion of light; Thy unchancelling poising palms were weighing the worth, Thou martyr-master: in thy sight Storm flakes were scroll-leaved flowers, lily showers—sweet heaven was astrew in them.
22 Five! the finding and sake And cipher of suffering Christ. Mark, the mark is of man's make And the word of it Sacrificed. But he scores it in scarlet himself on his own bespoken, Before-time-taken, dearest prized and priced— Stigma, signal, cinquefoil token For lettering of the lamb's fleece, ruddying of the rose-flake.
23 Joy fall to thee, father Francis, Drawn to the Life that died; With the gnarls of the nails in thee, niche of the lance, his Lovescape crucified And seal of his seraph-arrival! and these thy daughters And five-lived and leaved favour and pride, Are sisterly sealed in wild waters, To bathe in his fall-gold mercies, to breathe in his all-fire glances.
24 Away in the loveable west, On a pastoral forehead of Wales, I was under a roof here, I was at rest, And they the prey of the gales; She to the black-about air, to the breaker, the thickly Falling flakes, to the throng that catches and quails, Was calling 'O Christ, Christ come quickly': The cross to her she calls Christ to her, christens her wild-worn Best.
25 The majesty! what did she mean? Breathe, arch and original Breath. Is it love in her of the being as her lover had been? Breathe, body of lovely Death. They were else-minded then, altogether, the men Woke thee with a we are perishlng in the weather of Gennesareth. Or is it that she cried for the crown then, The keener to come at the comfort for feeling the combating keen?
26 For how to the heart's cheering The down-dogged ground-hugged grey Hovers off, the jay-blue heavens appearing Of pied and peeled May! Blue-beating and hoary-glow height; or night, still higher, With belled fire and the moth-soft Milky Way, What by your measure is the heaven of desire, The treasure never eyesight got, nor was ever guessed what for the hearing?
27 No, but it was not these. The jading and jar of the cart, Time's tasking, it is fathers that asking for ease Of the sodden-with-its-sorrowing heart, Not danger, electrical horror; then further it finds The appealing of the Passion is tenderer in prayer apart: Other, I gather, in measure her mind's Burden, in wind's burly and beat of endragoned seas.
28 But how shall I ... make me room there; Reach me a ... Fancy, come faster— Strike you the sight of it? look at it loom there, Thing that she ... there then! the Master, Ipse, the only one, Christ, King, Head: He was to cure the extremity where he had cast her; Do, deal, lord it with living and dead; Let him ride, her pride, in his triumph, despatch and have done with his doom there.
29 Ah! there was a heart right! There was single eye! Read the unshapeable shock night And knew the who and the why; Wording it how but by him that present and past, Heaven and earth are word of, worded by?— The Simon Peter of a soul! to the blast Tarpeian-fast, but a blown beacon of light.
30 Jesu, heart's light, Jesu, maid's son, What was the feast followed the night Thou hadst glory of this nun? Feast of the one woman without stain. For so conceived, so to conceive thee is done; But here was heart-throe, birth of a brain, Word, that heard and kept thee and uttered thee outright.
31 Well, she has thee for the pain, for the Patience; but pity of the rest of them! Heart, go and bleed at a bitterer vein for the Comfortless unconfessed of them— No not uncomforted: lovely-felicitous Providence Finger of a tender of, O of a feathery delicacy, the breast of the Maiden could obey so, be a bell to, ring of it, and Startle the poor sheep back! is the shipwrack then a harvest; does tempest carry the grain for thee?
32 I admire thce, master of the tides, Of the Yore-flood, of the year's fall; The recurb and the recovery of the gulfs sides, The girth of it and the wharf of it and the wall; Stanching, quenching ocean of a motionable mind; Ground of being, and granite of it: past all Grasp God, throned behind Death with a sovereignty that heeds but hides, bodes but abides;
33 With a mercy that outrides The all of water, an ark For the listener; for the lingerer with a love glides Lower than death and the dark; A vein for the visiting of the past-prayer, pent in prison, The-last-breath penitent spirits—the uttermost mark Our passion-plunged giant risen, The Christ of the Father compassionate, fetched in the storm of his strides.
34 Now burn, new born to the world, Doubled-natured name, The heaven-flung, heart-fleshed, maiden-furled Miracle-in-Mary-of-flame, Mid-numbered He in three of the thunder-throne! Not a dooms-day dazzle in his coming nor dark as he came; Kind, but royally reclaiming his own; A released shower, let flash to the shire, not a lightning of fire hard-hurled.
35 Dame, at our door Drowned, and among our shoals, Remember us in the roads, the heaven-haven of the Reward: Our King back, oh, upon English souls! Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east, More brightening her, rare-dear Britain, as his reign rolls, Pride, rose, prince, hero of us, high-priest, Our hearts' charity's hearth's fire, our thoughts' chivalry's throng's Lord.
5 Penmaen Pool
For the Visitors' Book at the Inn
WHO long for rest, who look for pleasure Away from counter, court, or school O where live well your lease of leisure But here at, here at Penmaen Pool?
You'll dare the Alp? you'll dart the skiff?— Each sport has here its tackle and tool: Come, plant the staff by Cadair cliff; Come, swing the sculls on Penmaen Pool.
What's yonder?—Grizzled Dyphwys dim: The triple-hummocked Giant's stool, Hoar messmate, hobs and nobs with him To halve the bowl of Penmaen Pool.
And all the landscape under survey, At tranquil turns, by nature's rule, Rides repeated topsyturvy In frank, in fairy Penmaen Pool.
And Charles's Wain, the wondrous seven, And sheep-flock clouds like worlds of wool. For all they shine so, high in heaven, Shew brighter shaken in Penmaen Pool.
The Mawddach, how she trips! though throttled If floodtide teeming thrills her full, And mazy sands all water-wattled Waylay her at ebb, past Penmaen Pool.
But what 's to see in stormy weather, When grey showers gather and gusts are cool?— Why, raindrop-roundels looped together That lace the face of Penmaen Pool.
Then even in weariest wintry hour Of New Year's month or surly Yule Furred snows, charged tuft above tuft, tower From darksome darksome Penmaen Pool.
And ever, if bound here hardest home, You've parlour-pastime left and (who'll Not honour it?) ale like goldy foam That frocks an oar in Penmaen Pool.
Then come who pine for peace or pleasure Away from counter, court, or school, Spend here your measure of time and treasure And taste the treats of Penmaen Pool.
6 The Silver Jubilee: To James First Bishop of Shrewsbury on the 25th Year of his Episcopate July 28. 1876
1 THOUGH no high-hung bells or din Of braggart bugles cry it in— What is sound? Nature's round Makes the Silver Jubilee.
2 Five and twenty years have run Since sacred fountains to the sun Sprang, that but now were shut, Showering Silver Jubilee.
3 Feasts, when we shall fall asleep, Shrewsbury may see others keep; None but you this her true, This her Silver Jubilee.
4 Not today we need lament Your wealth of life is some way spent: Toil has shed round your head Silver but for Jubilee.
5 Then for her whose velvet vales Should have pealed with welcome, Wales, Let the chime of a rhyme Utter Silver Jubilee.
7 God's Grandeur
THE world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs— Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
8 The Starlight Night
LOOK at the stars! look, look up at the skies! O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air! The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there! Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves'-eyes! The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold lies! Wind-beat whitebeam! airy abeles set on a flare! Flake-doves sent floating forth at a farmyard scare!— Ah well! it is all a purchase, all is a prize.
Buy then! bid then!—What?—Prayer, patience, alms, vows. Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs! Look! March-bloom, like on mealed-with-yellow sallows! These are indeed the barn; withindoors house The shocks. This piece-bright paling shuts the spouse Christ home, Christ and his mother and all his hallows.
NOTHING is so beautiful as spring— When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush; Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing; The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy? A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning In Eden garden. Have, get, before it cloy, Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning, Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy, Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
10 The Lantern out of Doors
SOMETIMES a lantern moves along the night, That interests our eyes. And who goes there? I think; where from and bound, I wonder, where, With, all down darkness wide, his wading light?
Men go by me whom either beauty bright In mould or mind or what not else makes rare: They rain against our much-thick and marsh air Rich beams, till death or distance buys them quite.
Death or distance soon consumes them: wind What most I may eye after, be in at the end I cannot, and out of sight is out of mind.
Christ minds: Christ's interest, what to avow or amend There, eyes them, heart wants, care haunts, foot follows kind, Their ransom, their rescue, and first, fast, last friend.
11 The Sea and the Skylark
ON ear and ear two noises too old to end Trench—right, the tide that ramps against the shore; With a flood or a fall, low lull-off or all roar, Frequenting there while moon shall wear and wend.
Left hand, off land, I hear the lark ascend, His rash-fresh re-winded new-skeined score In crisps of curl off wild winch whirl, and pour And pelt music, till none's to spill nor spend.
How these two shame this shallow and frail town! How ring right out our sordid turbid time, Being pure! We, life's pride and cared-for crown,
Have lost that cheer and charm of earth's past prime: Our make and making break, are breaking, down To man's last dust, drain fast towards man's first slime.
_12 The Windhover:
To Christ our Lord_
I CAUGHT this morning morning's minion, king- dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Fal- con, in his riding Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing In his ecstacy! then off, off forth on swing, As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
13 Pied Beauty
GLORY be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim: Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him.
14 Hurrahing in Harvest
SUMMER ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks rise Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies?
I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes, Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour; And, eyes, heart, what looks, what lips yet gave you a Rapturous love's greeting of realer, of rounder replies?
And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder Majestic—as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet!— These things, these things were here and but the beholder Wanting; which two when they once meet, The heart rears wings bold and bolder And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.
15 Caged Skylark
As a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage Man's mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells— That bird beyond the remembering his free fells; This in drudgery, day-labouring-out life's age.
Though aloft on turf or perch or poor low stage, Both sing sometimes the sweetest, sweetest spells, Yet both droop deadly sometimes in their cells Or wring their barriers in bursts of fear or rage.
Not that the sweet-fowl, song-fowl, needs no rest— Why, hear him, hear him babble and drop down to his nest, But his own nest, wild nest, no prison.
Man's spirit will be flesh-bound when found at best, But uncumbered: meadow-down is not distressed For a rainbow footing it nor he for his bones risen.
16 In the Valley of the Elwy
I REMEMBER a house where all were good To me, God knows, deserving no such thing: Comforting smell breathed at very entering, Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood. That cordial air made those kind people a hood All over, as a bevy of eggs the mothering wing Will, or mild nights the new morsels of spring: Why, it seemed of course; seemed of right it should.
Lovely the woods, waters, meadows, combes, vales, All the air things wear that build this world of Wales; Only the inmate does not correspond: God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales, Complete thy creature dear O where it fails, Being mighty a master, being a father and fond.
_17 The Loss of the Eurydice
Foundered March 24. 1878_
1 THE Eurydice—it concerned thee, O Lord: Three hundred souls, O alas! on board, Some asleep unawakened, all un- warned, eleven fathoms fallen
2 Where she foundered! One stroke Felled and furled them, the hearts of oak! And flockbells off the aerial Downs' forefalls beat to the burial.
3 For did she pride her, freighted fully, on Bounden bales or a hoard of bullion?— Precious passing measure, Lads and men her lade and treasure.
4 She had come from a cruise, training seamen— Men, boldboys soon to be men: Must it, worst weather, Blast bole and bloom together?
5 No Atlantic squall overwrought her Or rearing billow of the Biscay water: Home was hard at hand And the blow bore from land.
6 And you were a liar, O blue March day. Bright sun lanced fire in the heavenly bay; But what black Boreas wrecked her? he Came equipped, deadly-electric,
7 A beetling baldbright cloud thorough England Riding: there did storms not mingle? and Hailropes hustle and grind their Heavengravel? wolfsnow, worlds of it, wind there?
8 Now Carisbrook keep goes under in gloom; Now it overvaults Appledurcombe; Now near by Ventnor town It hurls, hurls off Boniface Down.
9 Too proud, too proud, what a press she bore! Royal, and all her royals wore. Sharp with her, shorten sail! Too late; lost; gone with the gale.
10 This was that fell capsize, As half she had righted and hoped to rise Death teeming in by her portholes Raced down decks, round messes of mortals.
11 Then a lurch forward, frigate and men; 'All hands for themselves' the cry ran then; But she who had housed them thither Was around them, bound them or wound them with her.
12 Marcus Hare, high her captain, Kept to her—care-drowned and wrapped in Cheer's death, would follow His charge through the champ-white water-in-a-wallow.
13 All under Channel to bury in a beach her Cheeks: Right, rude of feature, He thought he heard say 'Her commander! and thou too, and thou this way.'
14 It is even seen, time's something server, In mankind's medley a duty-swerver, At downright 'No or yes?' Doffs all, drives full for righteousness.
15 Sydney Fletcher, Bristol-bred, (Low lie his mates now on watery bed) Takes to the seas and snows As sheer down the ship goes.
16 Now her afterdraught gullies him too down; Now he wrings for breath with the deathgush brown; Till a lifebelt and God's will Lend him a lift from the sea-swill.
17 Now he shoots short up to the round air; Now he gasps, now he gazes everywhere; But his eye no cliff, no coast or Mark makes in the rivelling snowstorm.
18 Him, after an hour of wintry waves, A schooner sights, with another, and saves, And he boards her in Oh! such joy He has lost count what came next, poor boy.—
19 They say who saw one sea-corpse cold He was all of lovely manly mould, Every inch a tar, Of the best we boast our sailors are.
20 Look, foot to forelock, how all things suit! he Is strung by duty, is strained to beauty, And brown-as-dawning-skinned With brine and shine and whirling wind.
21 O his nimble finger, his gnarled grip! Leagues, leagues of seamanship Slumber in these forsaken Bones, this sinew, and will not waken.
22 He was but one like thousands more, Day and night I deplore My people and born own nation, Fast foundering own generation,
23 I might let bygones be—our curse Of ruinous shrine no hand or, worse, Robbery's hand is busy to Dress, hoar-hallowed shrines unvisited;
24 Only the breathing temple and fleet Life, this wildworth blown so sweet, These daredeaths, ay this crew, in Unchrist, all rolled in ruin—
25 Deeply surely I need to deplore it, Wondering why my master bore it, The riving off that race So at home, time was, to his truth and grace
26 That a starlight-wender of ours would say The marvellous Milk was Walsingham Way And one—but let be, let be: More, more than was will yet be.—
27 O well wept, mother have lost son; Wept, wife; wept, sweetheart would be one: Though grief yield them no good Yet shed what tears sad truelove should.
28 But to Christ lord of thunder Crouch; lay knee by earth low under: 'Holiest, loveliest, bravest, Save my hero, O Hero savest.
29 And the prayer thou hearst me making Have, at the awful overtaking, Heard; have heard and granted Grace that day grace was wanted.'
30 Not that hell knows redeeming, But for souls sunk in seeming Fresh, till doomfire burn all, Prayer shall fetch pity eternal.
18 The May Magnificat
MAY is Mary's month, and I Muse at that and wonder why: Her feasts follow reason, Dated due to season—
Candlemas, Lady Day; But the Lady Month, May, Why fasten that upon her, With a feasting in her honour?
Is it only its being brighter Than the most are must delight her? Is it opportunest And flowers finds soonest?
Ask of her, the mighty mother: Her reply puts this other Question: What is Spring?— Growth in every thing—
Flesh and fleece, fur and feather, Grass and green world all together; Star-eyed strawberry-breasted Throstle above her nested
Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin Forms and warms the life within; And bird and blossom swell In sod or sheath or shell.
All things rising, all things sizing Mary sees, sympathising With that world of good, Nature's motherhood.
Their magnifying of each its kind With delight calls to mind How she did in her stored Magnify the Lord.
Well but there was more than this: Spring's universal bliss Much, had much to say To offering Mary May.
When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple Bloom lights the orchard-apple And thicket and thorp are merry With silver-surfed cherry
And azuring-over greybell makes Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes And magic cuckoocall Caps, clears, and clinches all—
This ecstacy all through mothering earth Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth To remember and exultation In God who was her salvation.
_19 Binsey Poplars
MY aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled, Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun, All felled, felled, are all felled; Of a fresh and following folded rank Not spared, not one That dandled a sandalled Shadow that swam or sank On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding bank.
O if we but knew what we do When we delve or hew— Hack and rack the growing green! Since country is so tender To touch, her being so slender, That, like this sleek and seeing ball But a prick will make no eye at all, Where we, even where we mean To mend her we end her, When we hew or delve: After-comers cannot guess the beauty been. Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve Strokes of havoc unselve The sweet especial scene, Rural scene, a rural scene, Sweet especial rural scene.
20 Duns Scotus's Oxford
TOWERY city and branchy between towers; Cuckoo-echoing, bell-swarmed, lark-charmed, rook- racked, river-rounded; The dapple-eared lily below thee; that country and town did Once encounter in, here coped and poised powers;
Thou hast a base and brickish skirt there, sours That neighbour-nature thy grey beauty is grounded Best in; graceless growth, thou hast confounded Rural rural keeping—folk, flocks, and flowers.
Yet ah! this air I gather and I release He lived on; these weeds and waters, these walls are what He haunted who of all men most sways my spirits to peace;
Of realty the rarest-veined unraveller; a not Rivalled insight, be rival Italy or Greece; Who fired France for Mary without spot.
21 Henry Purcell
The poet wishes well to the divine genius of Purcell and praises him that, whereas other musicians have given utterance to the moods of man's mind, he has, beyond that, uttered in notes the very make and species of man as created both in him and in all men generally.
HAVE fair fallen, O fair, fair have fallen, so dear To me, so arch-especial a spirit as heaves in Henry Purcell, An age is now since passed, since parted; with the reversal Of the outward sentence low lays him, listed to a heresy, here.
Not mood in him nor meaning, proud fire or sacred fear, Or love or pity or all that sweet notes not his might nursle: It is the forged feature finds me; it is the rehearsal Of own, of abrupt self there so thrusts on, so throngs the ear.
Let him Oh! with his air of angels then lift me, lay me! only I'll Have an eye to the sakes of him, quaint moonmarks, to his pelted plumage under Wings: so some great stormfowl, whenever he has walked his while
The thunder-purple seabeach plume purple-of-thunder, If a wuthering of his palmy snow-pinions scatter a colossal smile Off him, but meaning motion fans fresh our wits with wonder.
WHEN will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut, Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs? When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I'll not play hypocrite To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?
O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite, That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does house He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo, He comes to brood and sit.
_23 The Bugler's First Communion
A BUGLER boy from barrack (it is over the hill There)—boy bugler, born, he tells me, of Irish Mother to an English sire (he Shares their best gifts surely, fall how things will),
This very very day came down to us after a boon he on My late being there begged of me, overflowing Boon in my bestowing, Came, I say, this day to it—to a First Communion.
Here he knelt then in regimental red. Forth Christ from cupboard fetched, how fain I of feet To his youngster take his treat! Low-latched in leaf-light housel his too huge godhead.
There! and your sweetest sendings, ah divine, By it, heavens, befall him! as a heart Christ's darling, dauntless; Tongue true, vaunt- and tauntless; Breathing bloom of a chastity in mansex fine.
Frowning and forefending angel-warder Squander the hell-rook ranks sally to molest him; March, kind comrade, abreast him; Dress his days to a dexterous and starlight order.
How it does my heart good, visiting at that bleak hill, When limber liquid youth, that to all I teach Yields tender as a pushed peach, Hies headstrong to its wellbeing of a self-wise self-will!
Then though I should tread tufts of consolation Days after, so I in a sort deserve to And do serve God to serve to Just such slips of soldiery Christ's royal ration.
Nothing else is like it, no, not all so strains Us: fresh youth fretted in a bloomfall all portending That sweet's sweeter ending; Realm both Christ is heir to and there reigns.
O now well work that sealing sacred ointment! O for now charms, arms, what bans off bad And locks love ever in a lad! Let me though see no more of him, and not disappointment
Those sweet hopes quell whose least me quickenings lift. In scarlet or somewhere of some day seeing That brow and bead of being, An our day's God's own Galahad. Though this child's drift
Seems by a divine doom channelled, nor do I cry Disaster there; but may he not rankle and roam In backwheels though bound home?— That left to the Lord of the Eucharist, I here lie by;
Recorded only, I have put my lips on pleas Would brandle adamantine heaven with ride and jar, did Prayer go disregarded: Forward-like, but however, and like favourable heaven heard these.
24 Morning Midday and Evening Sacrifice
THE dappled die-away Cheek and wimpled lip, The gold-wisp, the airy-grey Eye, all in fellowship— This, all this beauty blooming, This, all this freshness fuming, Give God while worth consuming.
Both thought and thew now bolder And told by Nature: Tower; Head, heart, hand, heel, and shoulder That beat and breathe in power— This pride of prime's enjoyment Take as for tool, not toy meant And hold at Christ's employment.
The vault and scope and schooling And mastery in the mind, In silk-ash kept from cooling, And ripest under rind— What life half lifts the latch of, What hell stalks towards the snatch of, Your offering, with despatch, of!
Now Time's Andromeda on this rock rude, With not her either beauty's equal or Her injury's, looks off by both horns of shore, Her flower, her piece of being, doomed dragon's food. Time past she has been attempted and pursued By many blows and banes; but now hears roar A wilder beast from West than all were, more Rife in her wrongs, more lawless, and more lewd.
Her Perseus linger and leave her to her extremes?— Pillowy air he treads a time and hangs His thoughts on her, forsaken that she seems, All while her patience, morselled into pangs, Mounts; then to alight disarming, no one dreams, With Gorgon's gear and barebill, thongs and fangs.
26 The Candle Indoors
SOME candle clear burns somewhere I come by. I muse at how its being puts blissful back With yellowy moisture mild night's blear-all black, Or to-fro tender trambeams truckle at the eye. By that window what task what fingers ply, I plod wondering, a-wanting, just for lack Of answer the eagerer a-wanting Jessy or Jack There God to aggrandise, God to glorify.—
Come you indoors, come home; your fading fire Mend first and vital candle in close heart's vault: You there are master, do your own desire; What hinders? Are you beam-blind, yet to a fault In a neighbour deft-handed? Are you that liar And cast by conscience out, spendsavour salt?
_27 The Handsome Heart:
at a Gracious Answer_
'BUT tell me, child, your choice; what shall I buy You?'—'Father, what you buy me I like best.' With the sweetest air that said, still plied and pressed, He swung to his first poised purport of reply.
What the heart is! which, like carriers let fly— Doff darkness, homing nature knows the rest— To its own fine function, wild and self-instressed, Falls light as ten years long taught how to and why.
Mannerly-hearted! more than handsome face— Beauty's bearing or muse of mounting vein, All, in this case, bathed in high hallowing grace . . .
Of heaven what boon to buy you, boy, or gain Not granted?—Only ... O on that path you pace Run all your race, O brace sterner that strain!
At the Wedding March_
GOD with honour hang your head, Groom, and grace you, bride, your bed With lissome scions, sweet scions, Out of hallowed bodies bred.
Each be other's comfort kind: Deep, deeper than divined, Divine charity, dear charity, Fast you ever, fast bind.
Then let the March tread our ears: I to him turn with tears Who to wedlock, his wonder wedlock, Deals triumph and immortal years.
29 Felix Randal
FELIX RANDAL the farrier, O he is dead then? my duty all ended, Who have watched his mould of man, big-boned and hardy- handsome Pining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it and some Fatal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended?
Sickness broke him. Impatient he cursed at first, but mended Being anointed and all; though a heavenlier heart began some Months earlier, since I had our sweet reprieve and ransom Tendered to him. Ah well, God rest him all road ever he offended!
This seeing the sick endears them to us, us too it endears. My tongue had taught thee comfort, touch had quenched thy tears, Thy tears that touched my heart, child, Felix, poor Felix Randal;
How far from then forethought of, all thy more boisterous years, When thou at the random grim forge, powerful amidst peers, Didst fettle for the great grey drayhorse his bright and battering sandal!
How lovely the elder brother's Life all laced in the other's, Love-laced! what once I well Witnessed; so fortune fell. When Shrovetide, two years gone, 5 Our boys' plays brought on Part was picked for John, Young John: then fear, then joy Ran revel in the elder boy. Their night was come now; all 10 Our company thronged the hall; Henry, by the wall, Beckoned me beside him: I came where called, and eyed him By meanwhiles; making my play 15 Turn most on tender byplay. For, wrung all on love's rack, My lad, and lost in Jack, Smiled, blushed, and bit his lip; Or drove, with a diver's dip, 20 Clutched hands down through clasped knees— Truth's tokens tricks like these, Old telltales, with what stress He hung on the imp's success. Now the other was brass-bold: 25 He had no work to hold His heart up at the strain; Nay, roguish ran the vein. Two tedious acts were past; Jack's call and cue at last; 30 When Henry, heart-forsook, Dropped eyes and dared not look. Eh, how all rung! Young dog, he did give tongue! But Harry—in his hands he has flung 35 His tear-tricked cheeks of flame For fond love and for shame. Ah Nature, framed in fault, There 's comfort then, there 's salt; Nature, bad, base, and blind, 40 Dearly thou canst be kind; There dearly then, dearly, I'll cry thou canst be kind.
_31 Spring and Fall:
to a young child_
MARGARET, are you grieving Over Goldengrove unleaving? Leaves, like the things of man, you With your fresh thoughts care for, can you? Ah! as the heart grows older It will come to such sights colder By and by, nor spare a sigh Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie; And yet you will weep and know why. Now no matter, child, the name: Sorrow's springs are the same. Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed What heart heard of, ghost guessed: It is the blight man was born for, It is Margaret you mourn for.
32 Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves
EARNEST, earthless, equal, attuneable, vaulty, voluminous, . . stupendous Evening strains to be time's vast, womb-of-all, home-of-all, hearse-of-all night. Her fond yellow hornlight wound to the west, her wild hollow hoarlight hung to the height Waste; her earliest stars, earl-stars, stars principal, overbend us, Fire-featuring heaven. For earth her being has unbound, her dapple is at an end, as- tray or aswarm, all throughther, in throngs; self in self steeped and pashed quite Disremembering, dismembering all now. Heart, you round me right With: Our evening is over us; our night whelms, whelms, and will end us. Only the beak-leaved boughs dragonish damask the tool-smooth bleak light; black, Ever so black on it. Our tale, our oracle! Let life, waned, ah let life wind Off her once skeined stained veined variety upon, all on two spools; part, pen, pack Now her all in two flocks, two folds black, white; right, wrong; reckon but, reck but, mind But these two; ware of a world where but these two tell, each off the other; of a rack Where, selfwrung, selfstrung, sheathe- and shelterless, thoughts against thoughts in groans grind.
THIS darksome burn, horseback brown, His rollrock highroad roaring down, In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam Flutes and low to the lake falls home.
A windpuff-bonnet of faawn-froth Turns and twindles over the broth Of a pool so pitchblack, fell-frowning, It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.
Degged with dew, dappled with dew Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through, Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern, And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.
What would the world be, once bereft Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet; Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; As tumbled over rim in roundy wells Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, Crying What I do is me: for that I came.
I say more: the just man justices; Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces; Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is— Christ—for Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his To the Father through the features of men's faces.
EARTH, sweet Earth, sweet landscape, with leaves throng And louched low grass, heaven that dost appeal To, with no tongue to plead, no heart to feel; That canst but only be, but dost that long—
Thou canst but be, but that thou well dost; strong Thy plea with him who dealt, nay does now deal, Thy lovely dale down thus and thus bids reel Thy river, and o'er gives all to rack or wrong.
And what is Earth's eye, tongue, or heart else, where Else, but in dear and dogged man?—Ah, the heir To his own selfbent so bound, so tied to his turn, To thriftless reave both our rich round world bare And none reck of world after, this bids wear Earth brows of such care, care and dear concern.
_36 The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo
(Maidens' song from St. Winefred's Well)_
THE LEADEN ECHO
How to keep—is there any any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, lace, latch or catch or key to keep Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, . . . from vanishing away?
O is there no frowning of these wrinkles, ranked wrinkles deep, Down? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still messengers, sad and stealing messengers of grey? No there's none, there's none, O no there's none, Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair, Do what you may do, what, do what you may, And wisdom is early to despair: Be beginning; since, no, nothing can be done To keep at bay Age and age's evils, hoar hair, Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death's worst, winding sheets, tombs and worms and tumbling to decay; So be beginning, be beginning to despair. O there's none; no no no there's none: Be beginning to despair, to despair, Despair, despair, despair, despair.
THE GOLDEN ECHO
Spare! There is one, yes I have one (Hush there!); Only not within seeing of the sun, Not within the singeing of the strong sun, Tall sun's tingeing, or treacherous the tainting of the earth's air. Somewhere elsewhere there is ah well where! one, One. Yes I can tell such a key, I do know such a place, Where whatever's prized and passes of us, everything that's fresh and fast flying of us, seems to us sweet of us and swiftly away with, done away with, undone, Undone, done with, soon done with, and yet dearly and dangerously sweet Of us, the wimpled-water-dimpled, not-by-morning-matched face, The flower of beauty, fleece of beauty, too too apt to, ah! to fleet, Never fleets more, fastened with the tenderest truth To its own best being and its loveliness of youth: it is an ever- lastingness of, O it is an all youth! Come then, your ways and airs and looks, locks, maiden gear, gallantry and gaiety and grace, Winning ways, airs innocent, maiden manners, sweet looks, loose locks, long locks, lovelocks, gaygear, going gallant, girlgrace— Resign them, sign them, seal them, send them, motion them with breath, And with sighs soaring, soaring sighs deliver Them; beauty-in-the-ghost, deliver it, early now, long before death Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty's self and beauty's giver. See; not a hair is, not an eyelash, not the least lash lost; every hair Is, hair of the head, numbered. Nay, what we had lighthanded left in surly the mere mould Will have waked and have waxed and have walked with the wind what while we slept, This side, that side hurling a heavyheaded hundredfold What while we, while we slumbered. O then, weary then why should we tread? O why are we so haggard at the heart, so care-coiled, care-killed, so fagged, so fashed, so cogged, so cumbered, When the thing we freely forfeit is kept with fonder a care, Fonder a care kept than we could have kept it, kept Far with fonder a care (and we, we should have lost it) finer, fonder A care kept. Where kept? Do but tell us where kept, where.— Yonder.—What high as that! We follow, now we follow.— Yonder, yes yonder, yonder, Yonder.
37 The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe
WILD air, world-mothering air, Nestling me everywhere, That each eyelash or hair Girdles; goes home betwixt The fleeciest, frailest-flixed Snowflake; that's fairly mixed With, riddles, and is rife In every least thing's life; This needful, never spent, And nursing element; 10 My more than meat and drink, My meal at every wink; This air, which, by life's law, My lung must draw and draw Now but to breathe its praise, Minds me in many ways Of her who not only Gave God's infinity Dwindled to infancy Welcome in womb and breast, 20 Birth, milk, and all the rest But mothers each new grace That does now reach our race— Mary Immaculate, Merely a woman, yet Whose presence, power is Great as no goddess's Was deemed, dreamed; who This one work has to do— Let all God's glory through, 30 God's glory which would go Through her and from her flow Off, and no way but so.
I say that we are wound With mercy round and round As if with air: the same Is Mary, more by name. She, wild web, wondrous robe, Mantles the guilty globe, Since God has let dispense 40 Her prayers his providence: Nay, more than almoner, The sweet alms' self is her And men are meant to share Her life as life does air. If I have understood, She holds high motherhood Towards all our ghostly good And plays in grace her part About man's beating heart, 50 Laying, like air's fine flood, The deathdance in his blood; Yet no part but what will Be Christ our Saviour still. Of her flesh he took flesh: He does take fresh and fresh, Though much the mystery how, Not flesh but spirit now And makes, O marvellous! New Nazareths in us, 60 Where she shall yet conceive Him, morning, noon, and eve; New Bethlems, and he born There, evening, noon, and morn Bethlem or Nazareth, Men here may draw like breath More Christ and baffle death; Who, born so, comes to be New self and nobler me In each one and each one 70 More makes, when all is done, Both God's and Mary's Son. Again, look overhead How air is azured; O how! nay do but stand Where you can lift your hand Skywards: rich, rich it laps Round the four fingergaps. Yet such a sapphire-shot, Charged, steeped sky will not 80 Stain light. Yea, mark you this: It does no prejudice. The glass-blue days are those When every colour glows, Each shape and shadow shows. Blue be it: this blue heaven The seven or seven times seven Hued sunbeam will transmit Perfect, not alter it. Or if there does some soft, 90 On things aloof, aloft, Bloom breathe, that one breath more Earth is the fairer for. Whereas did air not make This bath of blue and slake His fire, the sun would shake, A blear and blinding ball With blackness bound, and all The thick stars round him roll Flashing like flecks of coal, 100 Quartz-fret, or sparks of salt, In grimy vasty vault. So God was god of old: A mother came to mould Those limbs like ours which are What must make our daystar Much dearer to mankind; Whose glory bare would blind Or less would win man's mind. Through her we may see him 110 Made sweeter, not made dim, And her hand leaves his light Sifted to suit our sight. Be thou then, thou dear Mother, my atmosphere; My happier world, wherein To wend and meet no sin; Above me, round me lie Fronting my froward eye With sweet and scarless sky; 120 Stir in my ears, speak there Of God's love, O live air, Of patience, penance, prayer: World-mothering air, air wild, Wound with thee, in thee isled, Fold home, fast fold thy child.
38 To what serves Mortal Beauty?
To what serves mortal beauty dangerous; does set danc- ing blood the O-seal-that-so feature, flung prouder form Than Purcell tune lets tread to? See: it does this: keeps warm Men's wits to the things that are; what good means where a glance Master more may than gaze, gaze out of countenance. Those lovely lads once, wet-fresh windfalls of war's storm, How then should Gregory, a father, have gleaned else from swarm- ed Rome? But God to a nation dealt that day's dear chance. To man, that needs would worship block or barren stone, Our law says: Love what are love's worthiest, were all known; World's loveliest men's selves. Self flashes off frame and face. What do then? how meet beauty? Merely meet it; own, Home at heart, heaven's sweet gift; then leave, let that alone. Yea, wish that though, wish all, God's better beauty, grace.
39 (The Soldier)
YES. Why do we all, seeing of a soldier, bless him? bless Our redcoats, our tars? Both these being, the greater part, But frail clay, nay but foul clay. Here it is: the heart, Since, proud, it calls the calling manly, gives a guess That, hopes that, makesbelieve, the men must be no less; It fancies, feigns, deems, dears the artist after his art; And fain will find as sterling all as all is smart, And scarlet wear the spirit of war there express.
Mark Christ our King. He knows war, served this soldiering through; He of all can handle a rope best. There he bides in bliss Now, and seeing somewhere some man do all that man can do, For love he leans forth, needs his neck must fall on, kiss, And cry 'O Christ-done deed! So God-made-flesh does too: Were I come o'er again' cries Christ 'it should be this'.
40 (Carrion Comfort)
NOT, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee; Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man In me or, most weary, cry I can no more. I can; Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be. But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bones? and fan, O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?
Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear. Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod, Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer. Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, foot trod Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.
No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring. Comforter, where, where is your comforting? Mary, mother of us, where is your relief? My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing— Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked 'No ling- ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief'.
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap May who ne'er hung there. Nor does long our small Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep, Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
_42 Tom's Garland;
upon the Unemployed_
TOM—garlanded with squat and surly steel Tom; then Tom's fallowbootfellow piles pick By him and rips out rockfire homeforth—sturdy Dick; Tom Heart-at-ease, Tom Navvy: he is all for his meal Sure, 's bed now. Low be it: lustily he his low lot (feel That ne'er need hunger, Tom; Tom seldom sick, Seldomer heartsore; that treads through, prickproof, thick Thousands of thorns, thoughts) swings though. Common- weal Little I reck ho! lacklevel in, if all had bread: What! Country is honour enough in all us—lordly head, With heaven's lights high hung round, or, mother-ground That mammocks, mighty foot. But no way sped, Nor mind nor mainstrength; gold go garlanded With, perilous, O no; nor yet plod safe shod sound; Undenizened, beyond bound Of earth's glory, earth's ease, all; no one, nowhere, In wide the world's weal; rare gold, bold steel, bare In both; care, but share care— This, by Despair, bred Hangdog dull; by Rage, Manwolf, worse; and their packs infest the age.
43 Harry Ploughman
HARD as hurdle arms, with a broth of goldish flue Breathed round; the rack of ribs; the scooped flank; lank Rope-over thigh; knee-nave; and barrelled shank— Head and foot, shoulder and shank— By a grey eye's heed steered well, one crew, fall to; Stand at stress. Each limb's barrowy brawn, his thew That onewhere curded, onewhere sucked or sank— Soared or sank—, Though as a beechbole firm, finds his, as at a roll- call, rank And features, in flesh, what deed he each must do— His sinew-service where do.
He leans to it, Harry bends, look. Back, elbow, and liquid waist In him, all quail to the wallowing o' the plough: 's cheek crimsons; curls Wag or crossbridle, in a wind lifted, windlaced— See his wind- lilylocks -laced; Churlsgrace, too, child of Amansstrength, how it hangs or hurls Them—broad in bluff hide his frowning feet lashed! raced With, along them, cragiron under and cold furls— With-a-fountain's shining-shot furls.
To seem the stranger lies my lot, my life Among strangers. Father and mother dear, Brothers and sisters are in Christ not near And he my peace my parting, sword and strife. England, whose honour O all my heart woos, wife To my creating thought, would neither hear Me, were I pleading, plead nor do I: I wear- y of idle a being but by where wars are rife.
I am in Ireland now; now I am at a third Remove. Not but in all removes I can Kind love both give and get. Only what word Wisest my heart breeds dark heaven's baffling ban Bars or hell's spell thwarts. This to hoard unheard, Heard unheeded, leaves me a lonely began.
I WAKE and feel the fell of dark, not day. What hours, O what black houers we have spent This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went! And more must, in yet longer light's delay. With witness I speak this. But where I say Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent To dearest him that lives alas! away.
I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decree Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me; Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse. Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see The lost are like this, and their scourge to be As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse.
PATIENCE, hard thing! the hard thing but to pray, But bid for, Patience is! Patience who asks Wants war, wants wounds; weary his times, his tasks; To do without, take tosses, and obey. Rare patience roots in these, and, these away, Nowhere. Natural heart's ivy, Patience masks Our ruins of wrecked past purpose. There she basks Purple eyes and seas of liquid leaves all day.
We hear our hearts grate on themselves: it kills To bruise them dearer. Yet the rebellious wills Of us we do bid God bend to him even so. And where is he who more and more distils Delicious kindness?—He is patient. Patience fills His crisp combs, and that comes those ways we know.
MY own heart let me have more pity on; let Me live to my sad self hereafter kind, Charitable; not live this tormented mind With this tormented mind tormenting yet. I cast for comfort I can no more get By groping round my comfortless, than blind Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find Thirst's all-in-all in all a world of wet.
Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile 's not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather—as skies Betweenpie mountains—lights a lovely mile.
48 That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection
CLOUD-PUFFBALL, torn tufts, tossed pillows flaunt forth, then chevy on an air- built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs they throng; they glitter in marches. Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, wherever an elm arches, Shivelights and shadowtackle in long lashes lace, lance, and pair. Delightfully the bright wind boisterous ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare Of yestertempest's creases; in pool and rut peel parches Squandering ooze to squeezed dough, crust, dust; stanches, starches Squadroned masks and manmarks treadmire toil there Footfretted in it. Million-fueled, nature's bonfire burns on. But quench her bonniest, dearest to her, her clearest-selved spark Man, how fast his firedint, his mark on mind, is gone! Both are in an unfathomable, all is in an enormous dark Drowned. O pity and indig nation! Manshape, that shone Sheer off, disseveral, a star, death blots black out; nor mark Is any of him at all so stark But vastness blurs and time beats level. Enough! the Resur- rection, A heart's-clarion! Away grief's gasping, joyless days, dejection. Across my foundering deck shone A beacon, an eternal beam. Flesh fade, and mortal trash Fall to the residuary worm; world's wildfire, leave but ash: In a flash, at a trumpet crash, I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am, and This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond, Is immortal diamond.
49 In honour of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Laybrother of the Society of Jesus
HONOUR is flashed off exploit, so we say; And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field, And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day. On Christ they do and on the martyr may; But be the war within, the brand we wield Unseen, the heroic breast not outward-steeled, Earth hears no hurtle then from fiercest fray.
Yet God (that hews mountain and continent, Earth, all, out; who, with trickling increment, Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more) Could crowd career with conquest while there went Those years and years by of world without event That in Majorca Alfonso watched the door.
Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum: verum- tamen justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prospera- tur? &c.
THOU art indeed just, Lord, if I contend With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just. Why do sinners' ways prosper? and why must Disappointment all I endeavour end?
Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend, How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend, Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes Now, leaved how thick! laced they are again With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes Them; birds build—but not I build; no, but strain, Time's eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes. Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.
51 To R. B.
THE fine delight that fathers thought; the strong Spur, live and lancing like the blowpipe flame, Breathes once and, quenched faster than it came, Leaves yet the mind a mother of immortal song. Nine months she then, nay years, nine years she long Within her wears, bears, cares and moulds the same: The widow of an insight lost she lives, with aim Now known and hand at work now never wrong. Sweet fire the sire of muse, my soul needs this; I want the one rapture of an inspiration. O then if in my lagging lines you miss The roll, the rise, the carol, the creation, My winter world, that scarcely breathes that bliss Now, yields you, with some sighs, our explanation.
UNFINISHED POEMS & FRAGMENTS
THE best ideal is the true And other truth is none. All glory be ascribed to The holy Three in One.
WHAT being in rank-old nature should earlier have that breath been That here personal tells off these heart-song powerful peals?— A bush-browed, beetle-browed billow is it? With a south-westerly wind blustering, with a tide rolls reels Of crumbling, fore-foundering, thundering all-surfy seas in; seen Underneath, their glassy barrel, of a fairy green. . . . . . . . . Or a jaunting vaunting vaulting assaulting trumpet telling
_54 On the Portrait of Two Beautiful Young People
A Brother and Sister_
O I admire and sorrow! The heart's eye grieves Discovering you, dark tramplers, tyrant years. A juice rides rich through bluebells, in vine leaves, And beauty's dearest veriest vein is tears.
Happy the father, mother of these! Too fast: Not that, but thus far, all with frailty, blest In one fair fall; but, for time's aftercast, Creatures all heft, hope, hazard, interest.
And are they thus? The fine, the fingering beams Their young delightful hour do feature down That fleeted else like day-dissolved dreams Or ringlet-race on burling Barrow brown.
She leans on him with such contentment fond As well the sister sits, would well the wife; His looks, the soul's own letters, see beyond, Gaze on, and fall directly forth on life.
But ah, bright forelock, cluster that you are Of favoured make and mind and health and youth, Where lies your landmark, seamark, or soul's star? There's none but truth can stead you. Christ is truth.
There's none but good can be good, both for you And what sways with you, maybe this sweet maid; None good but God—a warning waved to One once that was found wanting when Good weighed.
Man lives that list, that leaning in the will No wisdom can forecast by gauge or guess, The selfless self of self, most strange, most still, Fast furled and all foredrawn to No or Yes.
Your feast of; that most in you earnest eye May but call on your banes to more carouse. Worst will the best. What worm was here, we cry, To have havoc-pocked so, see, the hung-heavenward boughs?
Enough: corruption was the world's first woe. What need I strain my heart beyond my ken? O but I bear my burning witness though Against the wild and wanton work of men. . . . . . . .
THE sea took pity: it interposed with doom: 'I have tall daughters dear that heed my hand: Let Winter wed one, sow them in her womb, And she shall child them on the New-world strand.' . . . . . . . .
NOT of all my eyes see, wandering on the world, Is anything a milk to the mind so, so sighs deep Poetry to it, as a tree whose boughs break in the sky. Say it is ashboughs: whether on a December day and furled Fast or they in clammyish lashtender combs creep Apart wide and new-nestle at heaven most high. They touch heaven, tabour on it; how their talons sweep The smouldering enormous winter welkin! May Mells blue and snowwhite through them, a fringe and fray Of greenery: it is old earth's groping towards the steep Heaven whom she childs us by.
(Variant from line 7.) b.
They touch, they tabour on it, hover on it[; here, there hurled], With talons sweep The smouldering enormous winter welkin. [Eye, But more cheer is when] May Mells blue with snowwhite through their fringe and fray Of greenery and old earth gropes for, grasps at steep Heaven with it whom she childs things by.
. . . . . . . . HOPE holds to Christ the mind's own mirror out To take His lovely likeness more and more. It will not well, so she would bring about An ever brighter burnish than before And turns to wash it from her welling eyes And breathes the blots off all with sighs on sighs. Her glass is blest but she as good as blind Holds till hand aches and wonders what is there; Her glass drinks light, she darkles down behind, All of her glorious gainings unaware. . . . . . . . . I told you that she turned her mirror dim Betweenwhiles, but she sees herself not Him. . . . . . . . .
_53 St. Winefred's Well
ACT I. Sc. I
Enter Teryth from riding, Winefred following.
T. WHAT is it, Gwen, my girl? why do you hover and haunt me?
W. You came by Caerwys, sir?
T. I came by Caerwys.
W. There Some messenger there might have met you from my uncle.
T. Your uncle met the messenger—met me; and this the message: Lord Beuno comes to-night.
W. To-night, sir!
T. Soon, now: therefore Have all things ready in his room.
W. There needs but little doing.
T. Let what there needs be done. Stay! with him one com- panion, His deacon, Dirvan Warm: twice over must the welcome be, But both will share one cell. This was good news, Gwenvrewi.
W. Ah yes!
T. Why, get thee gone then; tell thy mother I want her. Exit Winefred. No man has such a daughter. The fathers of the world Call no such maiden 'mine'. The deeper grows her dearness And more and more times laces round and round my heart, The more some monstrous hand gropes with clammy fingers there, Tampering with those sweet bines, draws them out, strains them, strains them; Meantime some tongue cries 'What, Teryth! what, thou poor fond father! How when this bloom, this honeysuckle, that rides the air so rich about thee, Is all, all sheared away, thus!' Then I sweat for fear. Or else a funeral, and yet 'tis not a funeral, Some pageant which takes tears and I must foot with feeling that Alive or dead my girl is carried in it, endlessly Goes marching thro' my mind. What sense is this? It has none. This is too much the father; nay the mother. Fanciful! I here forbid my thoughts to fool themselves with fears.
. . . . . . . . . . .
Act II.—Scene, a wood ending in a steep bank over a dry dene, Winefred having been murdered within. Re-enter Caradoc with a bloody sword.
C. My heart, where have we been? What have we seen, my mind? What stroke has Caradoc's right arm dealt? what done? Head of a rebel Struck off it has; written upon lovely limbs, In bloody letters, lessons of earnest, of revenge; Monuments of my earnest, records of my revenge, On one that went against me whereas I had warned her— Warned her! well she knew. I warned her of this work. What work? what harm 's done? There is no harm done, none yet; Perhaps we struck no blow, Gwenvrewi lives perhaps; To makebelieve my mood was—mock. I might think so But here, here is a workman from his day's task sweats. Wiped I am sure this was; it seems not well; for still, Still the scarlet swings and dances on the blade. So be it. Thou steel, thou butcher, I can scour thee, fresh burnish thee, sheathe thee in thy dark lair; these drops Never, never, never in their blue banks again. The woeful, Cradock, the woeful word! Then what, What have we seen? Her head, sheared from her shoulders, fall, And lapped in shining hair, roll to the bank's edge; then Down the beetling banks, like water in waterfalls, It stooped and flashed and fell and ran like water away. Her eyes, oh and her eyes! In all her beauty, and sunlight to it is a pit, den, darkness, Foam-falling is not fresh to it, rainbow by it not beaming, In all her body, I say, no place was like her eyes, No piece matched those eyes kept most part much cast down But, being lifted, immortal, of immortal brightness. Several times I saw them, thrice or four times turning; Round and round they came and flashed towards heaven: O there, There they did appeal. Therefore airy vengeances Are afoot; heaven-vault fast purpling portends, and what first lightning Any instant falls means me. And I do not repent; I do not and I will not repent, not repent. The blame bear who aroused me. What I have done violent I have like a lion done, lionlike done, Honouring an uncontrolled royal wrathful nature, Mantling passion in a grandeur, crimson grandeur. Now be my pride then perfect, all one piece. Henceforth In a wide world of defiance Caradoc lives alone, Loyal to his own soul, laying his own law down, no law nor Lord now curb him for ever. O daring! O deep insight! What is virtue? Valour; only the heart valiant. And right? Only resolution; will, his will unwavering Who, like me, knowing his nature to the heart home, nature's business, Despatches with no flinching. But will flesh, O can flesh Second this fiery strain? Not always; O no no! We cannot live this life out; sometimes we must weary And in this darksome world what comfort can I find? Down this darksome world comfort where can I find When 'ts light I quenched; its rose, time's one rich rose, my hand, By her bloom, fast by her fresh, her fleeced bloom, Hideous dashed down, leaving earth a winter withering With no now, no Gwenvrewi. I must miss her most That might have spared her were it but for passion-sake. Yes, To hunger and not have, yet hope on for, to storm and strive and Be at every assault fresh foiled, worse flung, deeper dis- appointed, The turmoil and the torment, it has, I swear, a sweetness, Keeps a kind of joy in it, a zest, an edge, an ecstasy, Next after sweet success. I am not left even this; I all my being have hacked in half with her neck: one part, Reason, selfdisposal, choice of better or worse way, Is corpse now, cannot change; my other self, this soul, Life's quick, this kind, this keen self-feeling, With dreadful distillation of thoughts sour as blood, Must all day long taste murder. What do now then? Do? Nay, Deed-bound I am; one deed treads all down here cramps all doing. What do? Not yield, Not hope, not pray; despair; ay, that: brazen despair out, Brave all, and take what comes—as here this rabble is come, Whose bloods I reck no more of, no more rank with hers Than sewers with sacred oils. Mankind, that mobs, comes. Come!
Enter a crowd, among them Teryth, Gwenlo, Beuno.
. . . . . . . . . . .
After Winefred's raising from the dead and the breaking out of the fountain.
BEUNO. O now while skies are blue, now while seas are salt, While rushy rains shall fall or brooks shall fleet from fountains, While sick men shall cast sighs, of sweet health all despairing. While blind men's eyes shall thirst after daylight, draughts of daylight, Or deaf ears shall desire that lipmusic that's lost upon them, While cripples are, while lepers, dancers in dismal limb- dance, Fallers in dreadful frothpits, waterfearers wild, Stone, palsy, cancer, cough, lung wasting, womb not bearing, Rupture, running sores, what more? in brief, in burden, As long as men are mortal and God merciful, So long to this sweet spot, this leafy lean-over, This Dry Dene, now no longer dry nor dumb, but moist and musical With the uproll and the downcarol of day and night delivering Water, which keeps thy name, (for not in rock written, But in pale water, frail water, wild rash and reeling water, That will not wear a print, that will not stain a pen, Thy venerable record, virgin, is recorded). Here to this holy well shall pilgrimages be, And not from purple Wales only nor from elmy England, But from beyond seas, Erin, France and Flanders, every- where, Pilgrims, still pilgrims, more pilgrims, still more poor pilgrims. . . . . . . . . . . . What sights shall be when some that swung, wretches, on crutches Their crutches shall cast from them, on heels of air departing, Or they go rich as roseleaves hence that loathsome came hither! Not now to name even Those dearer, more divine boons whose haven the heart is. . . . . . . . . . . . As sure as what is most sure, sure as that spring primroses Shall new-dapple next year, sure as to-morrow morning, Amongst come-back-again things, things with a revival, things with a recovery, Thy name . . .